The Id, Ego, and Superego

In the first part of this assignment I will discuss the three key elements (the id, the ego and the superego) of the Structure of Personality from Freud’s Psychoanalytic theory. In the second part of this assignment I will discuss the importance of the Defence Mechanisms in understanding how people might cope with a life crisis. Throughout this assignment I will use my writing and referencing skills which I have learned in the first semester, as part of the Transitions: Engage to Succeed module.

I would like to begin the body of my essay with the official definition of personality, in order to build a strong foundation to aid understanding of the id, ego and superego:
“Personality is the distinctive and relatively enduring way of thinking, feeling and acting that characterises a person’s responses to life situations” (O’Brien, 2011).

McLeod (2008) describes the id as “the primitive and instinctive component of personality”. According to Freud (1923) the id encompasses all components of personality, including the sex instinct (life instinct), Eros, and the aggressive instinct (death instinct), Thanatos. Freud continues to identify that the id is the impulsive, unconscious part of one’s psyche, which reacts directly and quickly to the instincts. He also notes that new-born children’s personalities consist solely of id, with the development of an ego and super ego later on in infancy. McLeod (2008) tells us that the id requires instant satisfaction, which induces pleasure, but on the contrary, if the id is not satisfied, pain is induced. This leads McLeod on to conclude that “the id is not affected by reality, logic or the everyday world”, instead the id operates on the pleasure principle (Freud et al. 1975), which states that every impulse should be satisfied, without taking the possible consequences into account. This would mean that the id is a completely irrational, illogical, and animalistic element of the structure of personality.

The ego is “that...